Joel Marsh Wildlife Area

Joel Marsh Wildlife Area
Joel Marsh Wildlife Area is a 1,192 acre property located in Polk County. It consists of flowages, grassland, and upland forest.

Find it two miles west of Turtle Lake off Hwy 8. There is access to the property south off Hwy 8 on 30th Street, where Hwy V goes north. There is a boat landing at the end of an unimproved gravel road. On the southwest part of the property, on 115th Avenue, there is a gravel access road to a parking area and boat launch site.

History of Management

The project began in the early 1980’s with the acquisition of 64 acre Joel Flowage and cranberry bogs on the northeast part of the property. The cranberry bogs were active in the 1930’s but have since been abandoned. A 600 acre flowage was developed in 2000 by placing a dam and water control structure on the southwest part of the property.

Ducks Unlimited provided the funding and engineering assistance to implement this project. Joel Marsh provides a good opportunity for wildlife viewing in the spring as waterfowl migrate through the area. Wildlife viewing and waterfowl hunting are popular activities in the fall. The property is also used for hunting upland game, deer, black bear, and wild turkey, as well as trapping. One of the first nesting pairs of trumpeter swans in the state nested on Joel Flowage in 1991 and continued to do so through 2005.

Today, periodic draw downs of the flowage are done to promote vegetation development for waterfowl habitat.

 Recreation Opportunities

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Hiking
  • Fishing
  • Snowmobiling trail
  • Wildlife viewing
  • Bird watching
  • Berry picking
  • Education programs - The Amery chamber of commerce puts on an annual event called “The Nature of Amery” that uses Joel Marsh for bird watching.